Civic returns to education: its effect on homophobia

Published: April 13, 2011

This paper addresses the question of whether higher levels of education contribute to greater tolerance of homosexuals. Using survey data for Ireland and exploiting a major reform to education, the abolition of fees for secondary schools in 1968, it is shown that increases in education causes individuals to be significantly more tolerant of homosexuals. Ignoring the endogeneity of education leads to much lower estimates of the effect of education. Replicating the model with data for the United Kingdom generates very similar results.

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